We are stuck comparing ourselves to others. Seeing other people progress fast and thinking to ourselves why aren’t we there? What is happening with us! Is there something wrong? Am I not good enough? These questions might pop up in your head. But comparing yourself to someone else is flawed. You don’t have the same experiences, personality, or traits.
Everyone is uniquely themselves so why bother comparing ourselves to something we aren’t and then not feel good enough. Compare yourself to yourself instead!
At a new job
When I started my first job I remember getting stressed because I am not so detail-oriented. I saw everyone thriving. I also struggled with talking to people and being friendly. The people that started with me started to network and develop relationships. They were getting promoted while I wasn’t. This made me feel sad and like I wasn’t good enough for a promotion. What I was doing was comparing myself to other people. I didn’t know their experiences or what jobs they had worked and how they had developed relationships but I kept focusing on this.
Focusing on others’ traits and how they are doing is not something we have in our control. So why waste our time focusing on other people when we can work on ourselves. Changing our view from comparing ourselves to others to comparing ourselves to our past self can open doors for us.
When I turned my focus from others to me the first thing I realized was that I was actually doing pretty well. My first job was straight out of university and it was a stable high-paying job. It was an achievement how far I had come. I was so busy focusing on other people that I hadn’t taken a moment to appreciate this. As time went on with the job I was improving and becoming more detailed oriented.
When you start a new job it takes time and everyone has a different learning curve. I was on my journey and it was different from everyone else’s progress journey. What I had to do was compare myself to my previous self and notice how much I had improved at my job. If. we don’t learn to enjoy the journey and be grateful we won’t be able to experience joy. So let’s stop blocking ourselves from joy and appreciate the little moments.
Focusing on myself instead of others made me realize the improvement I could bring to myself. The actions I could take to get noticed and network. I had meetings with the supervisor and asked her how I could improve. Sharing my goals with her and getting her feedback gave me direction on what actions I needed to focus on. If you are busy comparing yourself to others and feeling bad about it you don’t get the opportunity to see what you can do.
At the Gym
When I first started kickboxing I wasn’t a gym kind of person. I would avoid classes as if they were the plague and had made myself believe I am not good as everyone else. Now it has been 4 years since I started kickboxing. Because of the pandemic, I did lose some of my stamina and had to start again but for me, it is an achievement that something I started in 2018 is still a part of my life.
Now, if I look at the people in the class I could feel bad that someone else is holding 15 pounds. But instead, I focus on the fact that a few years ago I was holding 2 pounds and now I am holding 10 pounds. When I hold a 5-pound weight I actually find it light. I didn’t know it could feel that way. It is small things like these when you notice them you are appreciative. We as human beings are constantly improving. If you start going to the gym today something might seem like you can’t conquer it. But what we have to do is change that mindset to ‘not yet.’ You can’t conquer it today but you will eventually. We make small progress and soon you will be at your version of 10 pounds.
Is comparing yourself to other people stopping you from doing things?
My opinion on trying new things
The pandemic forced me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Now, 2 years later I feel like I am a completely different person. I started blogging in the pandemic something I didn’t think I would have the courage to do. Once my mindset changed about trying new things and being okay with failure everything in my life changed.
I compare my old mindset of not trying things and telling myself I am bad at it. If you tell yourself you are bad at something you will have a mental block that will make you bad at it. For example, I was telling myself I was bad at driving before I even started. I blocked out road signs, how other cars were moving, and everything road-related without even realizing it. Our body and mind believe what we tell it so be careful of what you say to yourself.
When you compare yourself to your past self you notice the changes that have been made. You might not notice it happening as it is slow but you look back a year or two and it has come all together. That is what self-development is about. That 1 percent change every day and looking back and going like ‘WOAH.’
Questions to ask yourself to compare yourself to yourself
- When you look back 1 year have you improved?
- When you look back 5 years have you improved?
- Did you make small changes or big ones?
- Can you change your mind from comparing yourself to others to your past self?
- What is one small change you can make today to change your mindset?